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Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 47,000 REALTORS®

November 1998 Sales
November's Warm Weather Leads Houston to Scorching Record Home Sales
HOUSTON (December 16, 1998) - The unseasonably warm temperatures on the thermometer last month fueled the highest single-month increase so far in 1998 for the Houston real estate market as home buyers posted 3,777 home sales, a 28.0 percent increase over the previous November record set last year.

According to statistics reported today by the Houston Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service (HARMLS), November's record total propels the year-to-date number of 1998 home sales to 46,069. This compares to 41,033 properties sold in all of 1997, a 12.3 percent increase.

"November and December traditionally have been months where we notice some slowdown due to seasonal factors," said George Stephens, 1998 Chairman of the Board of the Houston Association of Realtors. "It appears that many Houstonians have taken advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and the strong local economy to be in new homes for the holidays."

Other factors including median price, available home listings and pending contracts all point towards a strong finish to the current year. The median price, indicating that half the homes sold for more, half for less, for single-family homes sold in the Houston area last month reached $96,500, 8.4 percent higher than last November's $89,000. MLS also reported the median price for townhomes and condominiums in the Houston area during November was $62,950, up 7 percent over last November. The price of high rise residences decreased slightly to $166,500.

The available inventory of homes for sale has steadily decreased over the past 18 record-setting months. Active listings for November dipped slightly to 22,596. However, single-family homes continued to move at a rapid pace, spending an average of only 81 days on the market, a significant reduction from last November's 96.4 days.

Home buyers opened 3,067 contracts in November, a 9.3 percent increase over the 2,807 contracts opened during the same time last year. The number of contracts pending is one indicator of how the Houston market will fare over the next 30 to 60 days.

In the month of November, Realtors recorded a total dollar volume of $467,804,802 in home sales, topping the previous November high set last year by $125 million, representing a 36.7 percent increase.

Single-family home sales statistics show that all but a handful of the 40 HARMLS areas in the seven-county region experienced growth over last November. Among those areas experiencing growth of more than 50 percent were Northeast Harris County, Brazoria County, Bear Creek, North Harris County, Far Northwest Harris County, South Central Houston, South Bellaire, Waller County, Southwest Fort Bend County, Far Northeast Harris County, Aldine-Westfield, South Katy and Southeast Montgomery County.

The Northwest area, located between Interstate 45 and Texas 249 and Beltway 8 to the south and Spring Cypress to the north, led all areas in November single-family home sales with 187. Galveston County, including Galveston, Texas City and LaMarque, trailed only slightly with 175 home sales, while Southwest Montgomery County, including the Woodlands, had 169 sales.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 10,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. All reported MLS data is preliminary and subject to changes. The Houston Association of Realtors is the largest trade association in Houston and the largest local Realtor association in the nation. Residential home sales statistics, as well as listing information for more than 22,000 homes, can be found on the Internet at